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  • Writer's pictureThomas Delker

Day 10 He spoketh

A peaceful night on the water. I

went off and collected breakfast from a patisserie and brought it back while the others slept a bit and we were rowing to the bikes by 8.30 looking for coffee. And looking and looking. A great bike path along the canal but no coffee to be had.

Today we went by few towns so we stopped at a small market to get a baguette, cheese and salami for a trail side lunch. Still no coffee in this small town either. I noticed another spoke was broken on the rear. Odd that I hadn't seen that while truing it.

The route left the canal for quiet country roads that rolled up and.down. No long.climbs but not the fast flat path we've had the last few days.

As noon approached we started looking for a shaded spot to lunch and found a nice park with a picnic table in a little village. Perfect. After we were done we looked down the street and there was a cafe. Finally coffee!!!!

Packing up I noticed yet another broken spoke. Oh uh. One is no problem, two you need to deal with soonish, three is getting much more urgent. With 20 km to town I was nervous but figured it was no problem.

As we continued the rear tire wobbled more and more. The rear wheel needed serious attention! I looked on Google map and it claimed a bike store was directly on route in Decize, our destination for the night. I limped the bike in and we found the bike store - more like a Big 5 sporting store, and I was concerned, but this is France where cycling is a national passion and, yes! There was a small repair shop in the back!

A young gentleman came out to help us and stumbling through our french, he said the mechanic was on vacation. Ugh. I showed him the spoke and he brought out some and then spent some time finding the right length (critical! Too long and it pokes into the tube, too short and it will break. They need to be matched to with a few mm) The key - I need a special tool to remove the rear cassette to access the spokes. Thankful he lent me that as well! And then sat patiently with me as I relaced the 5 broken spokes (!) that had clearly been mortally wounded when the chain and tore in to them. They then slowly fatigued and failed throughout the day. Thank goodness I to that store and the was willing to help me and let me borrow the tools! 1 hr 6 euros later I had finished truing and reassembling and we headed Phew! That was close!

The campsite is super busy with bike packers. We have joined eurovelo 6, a popular route and there are about 15 other.groups here! A quiet dinner by the river and then we laid down for the night.

PS.Camp.groind had laundry. We are all excited for clean clothes!

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